Henry K. Moeller

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Henry K. Moeller
Archbishop of Cincinnati
InstalledFebruary 15, 1905
Term endedJanuary 5, 1925
PredecessorWilliam Henry Elder
SuccessorJohn T. McNicholas
OrdinationJune 10, 1876
by Giulio Lenti
ConsecrationAugust 25, 1900
by William Henry Elder
Personal details
Born(1849-12-11)December 11, 1849
DiedJanuary 5, 1925(1925-01-05) (aged 75)
Cincinnati, Ohio
BuriedSt. Joseph New Cemetery, Cincinnati, OH, United States of America
DenominationCatholic Church
Previous post(s)Bishop of Columbus (1900-1903)

Titular Archbishop of Areopolis (1903-1904)

Coadjutor Archbishop of Cincinnati (1903-1904)
EducationSt. Xavier College
Pontifical North American College
Urban College of Propaganda
Ordination history of
Henry K. Moeller
Priestly ordination
Ordained byGiulio Lenti
Date10 June 1876
PlaceSt. John Lateran, Rome, Italy
Episcopal consecration
Principal consecratorWilliam Henry Elder
Co-consecratorsHenry Joseph Richter Thomas Sebastian Byrne
Date25 August 1900
PlaceSt. Peter in Chains, Cincinnati, Ohio
Episcopal succession
Bishops consecrated by Henry K. Moeller as principal consecrator
James Joseph Hartley25 February 1904
Ferdinand Brossart25 January 1916
Alphonsus Cardinal Stritch30 November 1921
Francis William Howard15 July 1923
Francis Joseph Beckman1 May 1924

Henry K. Moeller (December 11, 1849 – January 5, 1925) was an American prelate of the Catholic Church. He served as bishop of the Diocese of Columbus in Ohio (1900–1903) and archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in Ohio (1904–1925).


Early life[edit]

Henry Moeller was born on December 11, 1849, in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Bernard and Teresa (née Witte) Moeller, who were immigrants from Westphalia.[1] He was the oldest of seven children; one of his sisters became a nun, and two brothers also became priests.[2] His father worked as a cabinet maker and carpenter before becoming a bricklayer and building contractor.[3] Henry Moeller was baptized by Father John Henry Luers the day after his birth, and received his early education at the parochial school of St. Joseph Parish in the West End of Cincinnati.[3]

In 1863, Moeller entered St. Xavier College in Cincinnati, graduating with highest honors in 1869.[1] He was then sent by Archbishop John Purcell to study philosophy and theology at the Pontifical North American College in Rome.[2] In his competitive examinations, he won three first prizes in theology.[3] Moeller was ordained a subdeacon on November 2, 1875, and a deacon on the following November 10.[4]


St. Patrick's Church, Bellefontaine

On June 10, 1876, Moeller was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati by Archbishop Giulio Lenti at the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome.[4] That same year he received his Doctor of Divinity degree from the Urban College of Propaganda in Rome.[1] Following his return to Ohio, Moeller was appointed pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Bellefontaine in September 1876.[3] He then served as a professor at Mount St. Mary's Seminary of the West in Norwood, Ohio, from 1877 to 1879.[2]

In November 1879, Moeller was granted a leave of absence from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati to assist Bishop Silas Chatard of the Diocese of Vincennes in Indiana.[3] He served as secretary to Bishop Chatard until 1880, when he was recalled to Cincinnati by Archbishop William Elder to serve as his own secretary.[2] Moeller served as chancellor of the archdiocese from 1886 to 1900.[1]

Bishop of Columbus[edit]

On April 6, 1900, Moeller was appointed the third bishop of the Diocese

of Columbus by Pope Leo XIII.[4] He received his episcopal consecration on August 25, 1900, from Archbishop Elder, with Bishops Henry Richter and Thomas Byrne serving as co-consecrators, at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral in Cincinnati.[4] He was installed at St. Joseph Cathedral in Columbus on August 27.[4]

During his brief tenure in Columbus, Moeller reduced the debt the diocese incurred from building the cathedral, established parish boundaries for Franklin County, and created three new parishes and four missions.[2] In 1902, he presided over the fifth diocesan synod, which set regulations for the needs of the clergy and people of the diocese.[2]

Coadjutor Archbishop and Archbishop of Cincinnati[edit]

Moeller was named coadjutor archbishop by Pope Pius X of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and Titular Archbishop of Areopolis on April 27, 1903.[4] As coadjutor, he assumed the administrative duties of the archdiocese.[3] Upon the death of Archbishop Elder, Moeller succeeded him to become the fourth archbishop of Cincinnati on October 31, 1904.[4] He was formally installed as archbishop and received the pallium on February 15, 1905.[5] In 1921, Moeller condemned several forms of dancing (including the Shimmy and Camel Walk) as well as bare female shoulders at social functions.[6]

Death and legacy[edit]

Henry Moeller died in Cincinnati on January 5, 1925, at age 75. He is buried in the mausoleum at St. Joseph Cemetery in Price Hill.[2]Archbishop Moeller High School, a parochial school near Cincinnati, Ohio, was named for him.


  1. ^ a b c d The National Cyclopedia of American Biography. Vol. XIII. New York: James T. White & Company. 1906.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "The Bishops of Columbus". Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus. Archived from the original on April 8, 2018. Retrieved August 10, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Lamott, John Henry (1921). History of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, 1821-1921. New York: Frederick Pustet Company, Inc.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Cheney, David M. "Archbishop Henry Moeller". Catholic-Hierarchy.org.
  5. ^ "MOELLER AN ARCHBISHOP". The New York Times. February 15, 1905.
  6. ^ "BANS NEW DANCES". The New York Times. February 20, 1921.

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by Bishop of Columbus
Succeeded by
Preceded by Archbishop of Cincinnati
Succeeded by